With Genna and Jesse’s new, raw release “Wild Enough to Try,” the duo’s harmonies are tighter than ever, their lyrics are playful and honest. Genna and Jesse travel practically non-stop playing their music around the world, and the journey shows itself well in this collection of songs. Even more impressive, this album was recorded ‘live’, without any tweaks or edits, so the up-close and personal living room feel is as accurate as it comes. Feeling confessional and warm and intimate, it’s a pleasant listening experience that has some genuinely great moments.
The instrumentation has been stripped to its simplest form, and it really does feel like the listener is sitting across from the couple as they sit on a couch and croon, belt, and shed their souls with each note. The opening track “Fall Like Hell” is the catchiest, most charming love song that you’ll hear all year. It has dozens of word plays and vocal shifts, and even a pretty stellar lip trumpet solo. Clairvoyant, well, so you say/I wonder if you felt this yesterday is just one of the clever punch lines. “For the Thrill of It All” is a nostalgic, bittersweet reminiscing of being friends with a risk-taker. The singers alternate between tracks to great effect, and although all of the tracks take their time and don’t hurry telling their story, the variety of moods on each number keeps the listener engaged throughout. Many of the songs are playful, and some are heart wrenching and gorgeous, like “No Place For Kids Like Us,” which proves to be the best song yet for Genna’s show-stopping vocals.
It’s not a perfect album – there are moments when the punchiness of the instruments feels a bit too abrasive or when falsetto falls a bit flat. But this isn’t an album where Genna and Jesse are trying to say, “Hey, look at us perfect people making this perfect music perfectly!” It’s raw, and open, and honest, and willing to keep some mistakes for the sake of a greater connection with the listener.
One of the best compliments that can be given to an album is that it makes the listener want to immediately go and see a show live, and that’s exactly the effect “Wild Enough to Try” has. It’s engaging, simple yet clever, and musically vibrant and diverse – all of the wonderful, wild things that make up the nomadic and enigmatic Genna and Jesse.
Best Tracks: Fall Like Hell, For the Thrill of It All, No Place for Kids Like Us